Abby Powell
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Abby Powell

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About Abby Powell

Abby Powell is a native of Northeastern Massachusetts who splits her time between commuting into Boston for work and caring for and riding her rescue Mustang x Arab mare, Maggie.

Latest Articles Written

Broken Leg to Blue Ribbon: Caribe PCH’s Comeback Story

Nancy Read and Caribe PCH. Photo by Joan Davis/ Flatlandsfoto.

Last June, Nancy Read walked out to the pasture at her New Hampshire farm and found her then 6-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Caribe PCH, had broken his leg in an apparent pasture accident. A career-ending injury at best and a fatal one at worst, a broken leg is a nightmare scenario for any horse horse, but this story has a better than best-case-scenario ending.

Defying all odds, “Baby” returned to eventing just eight months after his injury. Last month, Nancy and Baby won the Amateur Novice Masters Challenge at Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials in Millbrook, New York.

Nancy met Baby in 2010 when her sister sister purchased him as a 2-month-old colt from Plum Creek Hollow Farm in Larkspur, Colorado, which imports, breeds, trains and competes German Sport Horses for dressage and show jumping. With offset eyes and buck teeth, the colt found himself for sale, and Nancy’s sister snagged the crooked-faced foal on the cheap, hoping he might still make a good dressage prospect.

As was somewhat expected however, with a sire like Grand Prix show jumper Con Capilot, Caribe PCH loved to jump, so it was only natural that Nancy, the eventer in the family, obtained the coming 4-year-old from her sister.

“The joke in the family is if they don’t like dressage they send them to me,” Nancy laughed.

Nancy Read and Caribe PCH. Photo by Joan Davis/ Flatlandsfoto.

Bringing Up Baby

Nancy began his education as an event horse with the help of her friend and trainer Nicole Carroll, who is based in Brentwood, California. Nancy boards her horses with Nicole during the winter months while living with her husband in California from late October to early June. She and the horses travel back to New Hampshire, where she grew up, for the summer months.

It was during Caribe PCH’s first time cross country schooling at Fresno County Horse Park that he earned his barn name. As Nicole was riding him toward a small log, the young horse got distracted by the water behind it, causing him to trip and stumble over the jump. Nancy and Nicole laughed it off as a “Baby Go Boom” moment and the gelding was henceforth known as Baby.

Baby soon found his stride on cross country, successfully progressing to Novice level with both Nicole and Nancy competing him, winning four out of his first six events. But the gelding’s eventing career was put on an indefinite hold last June when Nancy found Baby in his field three-legged lame.

A fracture high up on the horse’s left foreleg was obvious. Feeling instantly sick at the sight of the injury, Nancy called her veterinarian for immediate assistance. She knew they needed to get Baby to an equine hospital for treatment, and she wondered if it would even be possible to load him on a trailer and make it to Myhre Equine Clinic in Rochester, New Hampshire without doing further damage to the leg.

Baby had gone down before Nancy and the vet were able to load him on the trailer, but with some sedatives in his system plus a makeshift cast he miraculously got up, loaded onto the trailer, and safely made the ride to the clinic.

Upon first inspection Dr. Grant Myhre gave the break very little hope of healing enough for Baby to compete again, but the hope was he could be pasture sound. Nancy told Dr. Myhre to do everything and anything he could to help her horse.

It was a rough road to recovery for Baby initially, and Dr. Myhre cautioned Nancy during the first few weeks post-injury that things weren’t looking particularly good. Nancy made frequent trips to the clinic to groom and visit Baby, hoping that a good curry would at least make him feel a little better given that he couldn’t roll while hooked up to a line to keep him from laying down and re-fracturing the healing bone.

Baby Makes His Comeback

Gradually, each day Baby started looking a little brighter. Nancy and Dr. Myhre both gained a little more hope with each passing day that the horse would make a recovery.  

Baby was able to be taken off the line at the beginning of September and finally able to return home to Nancy’s farm at the end of that month. The rehabilitation was daunting, but Nancy started slow and diligently, wanting to be absolutely certain that Baby was handling the process well and taking everything slower than even the doctor’s orders.

First came hand-walking, then walking under saddle in November. Nancy incorporated a lot of slow hill work in order to rebuild muscle. Short bouts of trotting were slowly incorporated into the routine, gradually becoming longer. Cantering was finally incorporated in January this year after migrating back to California for the winter. After months on stall rest in the hospital, it also took Baby a long time to get back to normal horse life, particularly trusting people entering his stall.

“Once he started getting fitter and more confident, he started showing he was interested in getting out to shows again,” Nancy said.

Baby’s first outing back was at a schooling jumper show over crossrails just to get him out in a show setting again. Having been more atmosphere than the gelding had seen in seven months, Baby was a little excited and overstimulated, but clearly enthusiastic about being there. His first event back, going Beginner Novice at Twin Rivers Winter HT, was much the same as the normally lazy and laid back gelding bounced his way around the cross country course.

“He was so excited and so happy to be back,” Nancy said. “It’s an absolute miracle — he’s an absolute miracle.”

Nancy Read and Caribe PCH. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Amateur Novice Masters Challenge at Fitch’s Corner

With Baby running so well this spring after his recovery, Nancy decided to make the Fitch’s Corner Amateur Novice Masters Challenge a goal for the summer. The Novice Masters Challenge is open to riders age 40 and older who have not completed an event at Training level or above within the past two years. The class is run over a championship style course with show jumping in reverse order of standing as the last phase.

“The Amateur Novice Masters Challenge was very exciting for me to work towards. To get to jump in reverse order of standing in the evening — when do we get to do that?” Nancy said.

“I’m so grateful to Fernanda Kellogg (Fitch’s Corner owner and organizer) for opening up her farm. It’s a privilege to be able to do this sport in a world where events are dropping and land is disappearing, and the fact that she offers something special for the Novice riders is very sweet of her. It’s very motivating to have something like this to work towards.”

Nancy and Baby won the Novice Masters on a score of 19.2, blowing the competition out of the water and beating his own personal best Novice dressage score by nearly 9 marks. Nancy also took home second in the same class with her other horse, Carolina PCH, on a final score of 27.30.

Despite Baby’s fantastic dressage scores and his continued winning ways, Nancy is quick to stay humble and point out his greenness. There’s still some confidence-building to do on cross country, as there’s still always at least one fence on course that takes him by surprise.

“I actually haven’t had a jumping round yet with him that’s felt totally solid,” she said. “He missed a year due to his injury and he’s still green and still learning. I went to Fitch’s just happy to have a horse that was able and was lucky to have a judge that liked him and we got it done.”

For Nancy, the rewards of potentially progressing up the levels pale in comparison to the enjoyment she finds competing at Novice with her two horses. With Baby, the enjoyment is amplified by the feeling of appreciation she has just to still have him.

“When I go into the arena on him, I’m not even nervous. I’m just thinking ‘I’ve got you and we’ve got nothing to lose’ so whatever happens, it doesn’t matter,” she said.

Nancy and Baby bested their dressage score from Fitch’s Corner with a 17.5 at the GMHA Festival of Eventing in Woodstock, Vermont this past weekend, which they finished on to win their division. Next on the calendar will be a trip to Tryon for the American Eventing Championships.

“I think with these horses you just enjoy the moment,” Nancy said. “To me, it means just as much as when Neville Bardos made a comeback with Boyd Martin. For me it feels the same. I adore this horse and if he can still do a level we’re comfortable at then I’m happy.”

Here’s wishing Nancy and Baby continued success and happiness! Special thanks to Joan Davis of Flatlandsfoto for providing photos from Fitch’s Corner.

Go Eventing.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Photo via Jenni Autry.

If you’re at Millbrook Horse Trials this weekend, say ‘Hi’ to EN’s fearless leader, Jenni! She has her reporter hat off this weekend and her riding boots on, as she pilots Jimmie Schramm’s Bellamy in their first event together. #IBelieveInBells!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Millbrook H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Olney Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

River Glen Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Catalpa Corner Charity H.T. [Website]  [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

No Shoes Required: LandLunar Jumped Around Horse Park Of New Jersey CIC** Barefoot

Amateurs Like Us: I Sat Up And Rode!

The Three Best Stretches For Your Pre-Ride Routine

PODCAST: Equine Welfare with Dr. Catherine Kohn and Dr. Stephanie Davis

Study: Winter Foals Smaller Than Spring, Summer Foals

Saturday Video:

Get a bird’s eye view of this year’s Advanced course at Millbrook Horse Trials with this drone fly-over. Course designer Tremaine Cooper also walks us through the major combinations that the riders will face today.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Three amigos! Photo via Boyd Martin.

A couple of big-name event riders are doing some cross-discipline training and taking stage at The Kentucky Summer Classic hunter/jumper show throughout the weekend. Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, and Will Coleman are all there with several horses getting some jumps in during the summertime event lull. They’re seizing the opportunity to take some of their up-and-coming horses out for some good exposure as well as get in a few practice rounds on some seasoned campaigners before the fall season begins.

National Holiday: National Lasagna Day and National Chicken Wing Day. Take your pick!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Stoneleigh-Burnham Summer H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Horse Park of New Jersey II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Hunt Club Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Cobblestone Farms H.T. [Website]  [Live Scores] [Ride Times]

Saturday Links:

Tamie Smith’s Letter to Her Partner Dempsey: “You had a heart as big as the Grand Canyon”

USEF Board of Directors Approves Strict Horse Welfare Penalties; Recommended guidelines approved unanimously

The Road to NAJYRC: A Weekend to Remember

Humans Might Be to Blame for Some Horse-Related Injuries

Hot on Jumper Nation: Florida Rider Finds Alligator in Jump Arena Puddle

Totally Random: Can the Horses in ‘Planet of the Apes’ Support All Those Apes?

Saturday Video:

Horses, hounds, classic cars, derby hats, shopping, whisky…Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials in Millbrook, NY has it all! Look back on a weekend that was:

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Allie Sacksen and Colleen Rutledge take an alternate route through the Head of the Lake. Photo by Brian Rutledge.

While many eyes were on The Event at Rebecca Farm and The Nations Cup at Aachen, two four-star riders, Colleen Rutledge and Allie Sacksen have been busy coaching students during the Pony Club Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. While there, they made a quick trip over to the four-star cross country course to try and conjure up some good mojo for next year.

From Brian Rutledge: “So for the last two years Colleen and Allie Sacksen have had a rough time at Rolex or getting to Rolex so they decided it was time to appease the Kentucky gods and sacrifice libations in the Head of the Lake!”

Major Events This Week:

Rebecca Farm: WebsiteResultsEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

NAJYRC: WebsiteResults

Aachen CICO3*: WebsiteResults

USPC Eventing Championships: Results

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fitch’s Corner H.T. [Website] [Results]

Full Moon Farm H.T. [Website] [Results]

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

How did the Aachen CICO3* course ride? Oliver Townend said it rode “fantastically”, winner Ingrid Klimke was thrilled with Horseware Hale Bob’s performance out on cross county, and Michael Jung said La Biosthetique Sam FBW was focused. [“Aachen Is Somewhere We All Want to Be”: Ingrid Klimke, Michael Jung, Oliver Townend and More on Eventing at Aachen]

The FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders & Juniors also took place this weekend in Millstreet, Ireland. British rider Bubby Upton led wire-to-wire to take individual gold and the German team clinched gold for the Juniors. For the Young Riders, Germany’s Hanna Knuppel took home individual gold and her countrymen took home team gold as well. [‘I’m in a dream world’: Bubby Upton takes individual gold at junior Europeans — team win silver] [British girls fight hard for medal haul at YR Europeans]

Sugars and starches are an important part of our horse’s diet, though owners have become increasingly wary of them in commercial feeds. While it’s important to acknowledge the role they can play in muscle and metabolic disorders, it’s important to know that horses can’t thrive without them either. [Sugars and Starches: They’re Not All Bad!]

Monday Video:

ICYMI, take a look back at some highlights from Day 4 of The Event at Rebecca Farm including the conclusion of the Novice and Training 3-Days and cross country day for the FEI divisions:

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Two 4* riders, Allie Sacksen and Colleen Rutledge, relaxing after coaching all week at the Pony Club Championships. Photo by Brian Rutledge.

You ever have one of those weeks where nothing really goes according to plan? That was my week. My commute has been a mess, my job has been stressful, my pony has been a touch ill-behaved, and my riding hasn’t been stellar either. I like to use opportunities like these to remind myself that the short-term adversity is always worth the long-term payoff.

Even though things were rough this week, it shouldn’t be for naught because everything that’s going on is really just a step in the right direction, setting things up for success in the future. Next week my commute will be smoother, things will slow down a bit at work, and pony and I should be back on the same page. Whatever you may be working through right now, just stay chill and keep plugging at it. You’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Major Events This Week:

Rebecca Farm: WebsiteScheduleRide Times & Live ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

NAJYRC: WebsiteRide Times & Live Scores

Aachen CICO3*: WebsiteRide Times & Scoring, Live Stream

USPC Eventing Championships: Ride Times & Live Scoring

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fitch’s Corner H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Moon Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Young Equestrians Fly, Drive, and Gallop into the Flathead

Hannah Sue Burnett On RF Demeter at Aachen: “Every Time I Get to Ride Her, I Smile”

The USEA Classic Series Thrives at Rebecca Farm

PODCAST: The New Olympic Format for Eventing and the Future of the Sport

Aachen eventing: Leading Brit takes a tumble in the showjumping as team slip down the placings

Four Back Exercises to Help Strengthen Your Core in the Saddle

Transitions for Throughness

Saturday Video:

Looks like the Rutledge family has been having a blast at Pony Club Championships this week! Here’s one of daughter Cassie’s show jumping rounds:

How NAJYRC Teams Funded the Trip to Rebecca Farm

When it was announced that the eventing portion of the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships would be held at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, riders were thrilled to get the chance to compete at one of the most scenic venues in the country.

In the months leading up to the Event at Rebecca Farm and the coinciding NAJRYC, young riders and their friends, families and coordinators from eight USEA areas and Ontario have been hard at work across the country to secure the funds needed to send their teams of talented youth to this pinnacle event.

Area I “Mega Muckers” celebrate a successful day with a jump into the muck pit at GMHA. Photo by Deb Meek.

Area I

Area I set a goal of raising $50,000 to send seven riders and eight horses out west to compete this year. In addition to fundraising, the young riders and their families and friends also campaigned throughout the area to promote their programs by holding bake sales and giving away carrots and peppermints at local schooling shows and early season sanctioned events.

“The candidates and their families gave from their hearts,” Margaret Potorski, Area 1 Parent Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator, said.

A strong showing of support from the New England eventing community helped the Young Riders exceed their ambitious fundraising target, raising enough not only to help fund the trip to NAJYRC this year, but to contribute to the area’s other Young Rider programs and leave a starter fund for next year. Support from additional members of the Area 1 community, especially Carol Mayo, George Cheney and Brenda Jarrell, were also pivotal, Young Rider Program Coordinator Deb Meek explained.

At two very popular events, the GMHA Spring and Groton House Farm horse trials, the young riders provided a stall cleaning service and stripped more than 60 stalls at the conclusion of each event.

At Groton House, which served as the fundraising finale, the young riders also held a silent auction with items generously donated by local businesses, members of the eventing community, and friends and family of the riders. The young riders also hosted a Barnyard BBQ, a meet-and-greet event with the NAJYRC candidates attended by nearly 100 people, all of whom were treated to good food and fun lawn games.

How many Young Riders can you fit into a pickup truck? Photo via Mary Dembosky‎ on Facebook.

Area II

Area II coordinated an array of successful fundraisers this year to send five one-star combinations to compete. Starting with an early-season day of cross country schooling at Loch Moy Farm, donated by Carolyn MacIntosh of Maryland Horse Trials, all the schooling fees went directly to the Area II Young Riders account.

“Area II is a large area with lots of eventing, and you might think it’s easy to fundraise here, but actually there are so many upper-level riders, all of whom either have major and minor sponsors and are constantly gaining new sponsorships and support from equestrian businesses, so there is quite a bit of competition for any supporting dollars for eventing here,” Holly Covey, a member of the fundraising committee, said.

“Most of our contributors give generously all year round to many other 501(c)3 charities in this very competition-rich region, so we are challenged to make sure young riders are included.”

Throughout the spring the entire Area II community banded together to hold an online silent auction of more than 60 items from generous donors, including the young riders and their families, upper-level riders and local businesses.

“It really takes a village to get these talented young riders to NAJYRC,” said Kimberly Horn, the fundraising committee chair, “and many of the young riders themselves also held their own fundraisers and clinics as well as solicited donations from local businesses.”

A benefit night held at Waredaca Brewing in June served as the grand fundraising finale where the team selection was announced. Details were also unveiled about one more extraordinary auction item — a seven-night horseback safari in Botswana — coordinated by Carolyn Tett, whose daughter, Alexandra Tett, is a one-star team member for Area II. Jay and Kris Ennis, longtime supporters of eventing in Area II, won the trip.

“We’ve plugged away all year, working together on all the donations by email communication, to find the best way to use them for the kids’ benefit,” Holly said. “We bounce ideas off each other and never say no to a donation, finding a way to leverage each one — from the smallest, a pair of tiny cubic zirconia earrings, to a large cross country jump!”

Goodies! Photo via MP Eventing.

Area III

Area III has five riders and horses contesting the one-star and three making up a two-star team. Catharine Clayton, Area III’s Young Rider Coordinator, said the area enjoyed an especially successful fundraising effort this year.

More than $10,000 was raised through an online silent auction coordinated and managed by Lisa Shurtz, even after her own daughter’s NAJYRC quest was cut short due to injury.

Fellow Area III eventer Mikki Johansen, who runs Performance Horse Training & Rehabilitation, supported the riders by raffling off a Yeti cooler filled with goodies. The program also sold Area III logo T-shirts and tote bags to benefit the young riders and launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover transportation costs.

Jennifer and Melanie Rousseau. Photo via Area IV Young Riders on Facebook.

Area IV

Area IV is being represented by two riders, both competing in the two-star. They will be placed on a team along with the sole Area I two-star rider.

At the Inaugural Area IV Young Rider’s Trainer Challenge at the Fox River Valley Pony Club HT, attendees cast a vote for for the trainer they wanted to see wear a funny outfit by placing cash donations in the container associated with that trainer. Jennifer Rousseau, whose daughter Melanie is competing at NAJYRC, won the honor of donning of a yellow fellow boa by having the most cash in her container at the end of the contest.

Area IV Chairperson Kathy Kerns also offered to donate $25 to the Young Rider Program for each young rider who volunteered to scribe or assist with timing and help put away jumps at the Mid-America Combined Training Association schooling shows this year, supporting both the local schooling show organization and the Young Rider Program at the same time.

Area V Young Riders enjoy some downtime at the Will Faudree summer clinic. Photo via Area V Young Riders on Facebook.

Area V

For Tayler Owen, the Area V Young Rider Coordinator, it was important to focus on having the rider’s earn the money they raised to send their six combinations to Montana, rather than soliciting in-kind donations.

“It gave these kids the opportunity to meet others in our area as well as allowed some of the adult riders to meet these kids and see where their financial support was going,” she said. “I am a firm believer that you need to work for things to build appreciation rather than have things just be given to you. I know more people are willing to give financial support or donations when they see these kids work for it.”

Tayler made a point to have a fundraiser set up at each of the early-season events. At one show, the riders set up a tack-cleaning service and asked for donations in exchange for dropping off tack to be cleaned. As the riders had time in their schedule at the event, they would drop by the booth to clean tack.

Other events offered braiding and stall-stripping services, which eventually became so popular that some competitors interested in the service had to be turned down because there weren’t enough hands on deck to meet the demand.

At out-of-state events the riders manned a merchandising table and sold donated used tack, homemade saddle soap, horse treats, fly spray, and Area V logo watches and dog bandanas. Tayler worked alongside the riders throughout the season, setting a good example for work ethic.

“It let them see that I was with them in this journey helping lead and support them, rather then sitting back and watching them do the work,” Tayler said. “It gave me an opportunity to really get to know some of these kids as well as them to get to know me better.”

What better way to cap off a great time at Younger Rider camp than with cake? Photo via Area 6 Young Riders on Facebook.

Area VI

Eight Area VI horses and riders made the trip from California, with six in the one-star and two in the two-star, thanks to an extensive online auction that benefitted many of the area’s rider programs.

A pancake breakfast fundraiser held on Easter Sunday at the Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & Horse Trials also donated all proceeds to the Area VI Young Riders Program. Who can resist tasty pancakes?

A competitor at the 2016 Area II Young Rider Benefit Horse Trials. Photo via Precision Stride Eventing on Facebook.

Area VII

Unique to the nation, Area VII holds a sanctioned horse trials annually to benefit the area’s young riders. This year the benefit horse trials raised the funds to send three horses and riders to compete as a team in the two-star.

Run for 30 years and currently held at Lincoln Creek Farms in Centralia, Washington, the benefit horse trials offers Starter through Preliminary levels. Because the event is a fundraiser for the Young Area VII Rider Program, the young riders themselves are particularly encouraged to volunteer and support the event.

A sold-out crowd enjoys ‘An Evening of Beautiful Horses’. Photo courtesy of Miranda Atkins/Photography In Stride.

Area VIII

Angela and James Hambrick’s River Edge Farm in Ohio hosted An Evening of Beautiful Horses last month, a benefit exhibition to raise money for the young riders of Area VIII eventing and Region 2 dressage.

Co-organized by River Edge Farm’s resident trainer Therese Evans, the sold-out evening successfully raised more than $20,000 to help fund the riders’ journeys to their respective competitions. The evening featured local riders and horses showing off their skills, with dressage freestyles and cross country derby-style jumping rounds.

“The riding was a wonderful showcase of the equestrian talent in northeast Ohio,” Jeni Gaffney said. “The eventers had fun going cross country to rock music.”

Brooke Burchianti, who is competing on the one-star team for Area VIII, served as one of the exhibition riders. Area VIII has four combinations in the one-star and one in the two-star.

They made it! The Ontario 2* riders celebrate after the trot-up. Photo by Lisa Thompson.

Ontario

The Ontario Horse Trials Association (OHTA) initially announced it would not be sending a team to NAJYRC this year due to the distance and cost to get to Montana. Despite this declaration, a determined pack of young riders banded together to make their dreams of representing Canada at NAJYRC a reality. An impressive eight riders — four one-star and four two-star — have made the journey to Rebecca Farm.

Among the fundraisers OHTA organized were two that proved particularly fruitful. An online silent auction, with a website built by a team member and all donations solicited by team members, touted an assortment of generously donated prizes, including a helicopter ride and lessons with Nationally Certified coaches. OHTA also hosted show jump schooling days at venues in both Florida and Ontario to raise funds.

“As a team, the young riders were very active and focused on raising the funds they needed to get their horses from Ontario to Montana for NAJYRC,” Helen Richardson, OHTA’s Young Rider Program Coordinator, said.

Helen credits the young ladies on the team with doing all the hard work to raise the funds for their big trip. EN salutes all the young riders who worked hard to both qualify to compete and fund their trip to NAJYRC. Go Eventing.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Elisa Wallace is a busy lady this weekend, competing several horses at Champagne Run at the Park H.T. and also signing autographs alongside Hwin at BreyerFest 2017. Photo via Breyer Model Horses on Facebook.

YOU GUYS, it’s National I Love Horses Day! That’s right — apparently July 15th is the official day “we recognize the love of one magnificent creature,” as the website says. But really I think ‘I Love Horses Day’ is actually every day for us nutty equestrians, am I right?

U.S. Weekend Action:

Genesee Valley Hunt H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Riga Meadow H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Maryland at Loch Moy II CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Champagne Run at the Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Aspen Ridge H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Coconino Summer I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

How a small town in western NC is prepping for the ‘Olympics for horses’

Announcing Boyd Martin as Keynote Speaker at the 2017 USEA Annual Convention

In Response: McLain Ward Believes Show Jumping Is Evolving, Not In A Downward Spiral

The Fearful, Talentless Amateur: A Response

Request for Expressions of Interest: USEA American Eventing Championships Host Sites

USEF Announces Definite Entries for the 2017 FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships

Jonty Evans ‘overwhelmed’ as fans donate £63k in first 24 hours

Saturday Video:

That’s a wrap on Great Meadow International 2017!

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Photo by Anthony Gibson via Great Meadow International on Instagram.

Evan Coluccio and Fluttershy cleared 5’5″ to win the bareback puissance at Great Meadow International, which took place after yesterday’s FEI Nation’s Cup dressage rides. I imagine that in order to successfully compete in a bareback puissance, horse an rider must each possess two key qualities. For the horse, it would be (1) the willingness to try and clear these impossibly tall fences , and (2) non-shark fin-esque withers. For the rider, those qualities would be (1) impeccable balance, and (2) cajones of steel.

National Holiday: National Chocolate with Almonds Day

Great Meadow CICO3* Links: WebsiteScheduleEntriesRide TimesLive ScoringUSEF NetworkFEI TVEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Action:

Huntington Farm H.T. [Website] *CANCELLED DUE TO FLOODING*

Old Chatham H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Maryland at Loch Moy I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Roebke’s Run H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

41st Annual Whidbey Island H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Coconino Summer I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Fast Facts: Great Meadow International, Presented by Adequan® CICO3*

One To Watch: Woods Baughman Will Be Making His Dreams Come True At Great Meadow

Ringside Chat: Inmidair Is Back With Jan Byyny At Great Meadow International

PODCAST: The Event at Rebecca Farm + NAJYRC: A Match Made in Heaven

Toytown’s early years: ‘He was lethal and came back to the yard every day without me’

Getting a Second Wind: Helping Equine Athletes Breathe

Recycling on the Farm

Saturday Video:

Ponies gonna be ponies, even when meeting the Queen of England. This pony, Lance Corporal Cruachan IV (which coincidentally will also be the name of my next pony), is the regimental mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and has a twitter account, by the way.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Accurate description of my pony. Photo by Abby Powell.

I think I may finally have a weekend of sort-of downtime on my hands. This is exceptionally unusual and I’m not 100% sure what to do with myself. I have no show this weekend, no volunteering…maybe I’ll wash all the dishes in the sink? Or fold the laundry that’s been sitting in the basket all week? Or vacuum all the dog hair off the living room floor? Maybe…but not until after my cross country lesson this morning!

National Holiday: National Postal Worker Day (An excellent day to celebrate the good folks who deliver your SmartPaks!)

U.S. Weekend Action:

Horse Park of New Jersey I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

South Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

US Equestrian Names Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for Great Meadow International presented by Adequan® CICO3*

USEA Foundation Proudly Announces the Recipients of the 2017 Rebecca Broussard Travel Grants

19 British pairs long-listed for eventing Europeans — Zara Tindall not included

The Countdown is on: 60 Days to AEC! What You Need to Know to Plan Your AEC Vacation

Amateurs Like Us: Eventing Gives Gail Keys An Extra Set Of Wings

How Do You Handle Colic?

Boyd Martin: Three Cross-Discipline Exercises to Build Fitness and Strength

Larry Glefke and Kelley Farmer Penalized for Doping Violations by The USEF Hearing Committee

Saturday Video:

Take two spins around the Novice course at last weekend’s Groton House Farm with riders from nearby Flying High Stables. Notice a difference in the footing between the two? Yeah, there was a nice little mid-morning downpour to make the day interesting!

Jane Kreppein and Cracked Pepper:

Lisa Tylus and Mac:

Road to NAJYRC: Catching Up With Cornelia Dorr

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M. Photo by Shelby Allen.

When we last caught up with 19-year-old Cornelia Dorr in January, she had just shipped down to Ocala to to take part in the USEF Eventing 25 Developing Rider training camp. Cornelia was talent-spotted into the program, having not yet met the requirement of completing a two-star event.

Since then, Cornelia has had a busy and fruitful spring and much has changed. She has now completed several two-stars, including winning the Jersey Fresh International CCI2* on her 12-year-old Rheinlander Louis M and most recently taking fifth in the Bromont CCI2* with her 11-year-old Zweibrucker Sir Patico MH (“Hugo”).

She competed this past weekend at Groton House Farm in Hamilton, Mass., which could be considered Cornelia’s backyard event, having grown up in nearby Manchester-by-the-Sea and boarding Hugo just around the corner at Gathering Farm during her grade school years. Having spent the last yearat Sharon White’s Last Frontier Farm in West Virginia, Cornelia made her homecoming by bringing Louis to Groton House compete in the Intermediate/Preliminary division.

After clinching the win in the division, Cornelia was kind enough to catch up with EN to share how things have changed in the past few months and what it was like bringing the fabled Louis M to Massachusetts.

EN: What was your decision making process in making the trip back to Groton House Farm this year?

Cornelia: “I was originally planning to bring both my horses to Groton House to do the Intermediate/Preliminary after completing Jersey Fresh, but I didn’t actually end up completing it on Hugo. He was spun at the second horse inspection because of a very small heel grab. Once we brought him back home and started trotting him again, he just seemed really hungry and wanted to do something else. We decided to try running Hugo at Bromont instead of bringing him to Groton House with Louis.”

EN: Your coach, Sharon White, was overseas at Luhmühlen while you were at Bromont. How was it traveling and competing without her?

Cornelia: “Rachel Wilks, Woods Baughman and I planned the whole trip out and went up together. Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Brian Murphy took us under their wings while we were there, and it was really great to have their support and mentorship.”

Cornelia and Louis turn for the final fence at Groton House. Photo by Abby Powell.

EN: What was it like bringing Louis M back home to your old stomping grounds?

Cornelia: “It’s like bringing a boyfriend home for the first time! Hugo and I were born and raised together in the area. Bringing Louis here was like bringing someone home and and showing him where I grew up. We did a lot of hacking before Groton House and went places that Hugo and I used to ride all the time, and I’d say, ‘Look, Louis — this is where I used to do trot sets!’ or ‘This is where we did all our hill work!’

“Louis stayed with Katie and Maddie Lichten (fellow Area 1 Young Riders), who I’m really good friends with, for the week but I did walk him over to Gathering Farm at one point to get a shoe reset. All the ladies and the kids there saw me walk him into the barn and were like, ‘Ooh, is this Louis?’ and wanted to meet him. He loves all the attention — he thinks it’s the greatest thing.”

EN: Since you’ve had Louis for a year now, was it difficult at first to get used to balancing the workloads of two horses?

Cornelia: “It’s interesting to have two horses. I did worry about how I was going to make it work at first, but I figured it out as we went along and learned how to fold everything into a schedule that works.

“I love having two horses going the same level because whatever horse I go out on first in competition, I’m then curious to see how I ride it on the second horse and I want to see if I can improve on it.”

EN: Which phase is your biggest challenge?

Cornelia: “The hardest thing continues to be show jumping. I’m working to really try and improve that and also fine-tuning everything between the two horses.”

Cornelia and Louis M at Groton House. Photo by Abby Powell.

EN: What has been the most beneficial thing about having two horses?

Cornelia: “I’ve noticed an immense difference in my dressage since getting Louis. He’s really helped me improve; everything makes more sense and I’m able to translate it to Hugo better, so he’s been able to improve as well. Hugo got a 48 in dressage at Bromont, which I was so pleased with.”

EN: What are your upcoming competition plans?

Cornelia: “Right now we’re back in West Virginia at Sharon’s. We left Massachusetts two days after Groton House, and we’ll be leaving again for NAJYRC in Montana in a week and a half. I’ll be riding both horses in the CICO2* there. One will be on a team and the other will be as an individual, but I don’t know which will be which yet.

“We have no short-term plans for after Montana, but then my goal is to do the CCI2* at Fair Hill with both horses in October.”

We’re wishing the best of luck to Cornelia in the rest of her season and beyond!

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Groton House Farm dressage warmup gang was ready for action! Photo courtesy of Kristie Gill.

I played hooky from work yesterday (though I’m not sure I can technically call it hooky when I actually used a vacation day) to volunteer on dressage day at my local event, Groton House Farm. I’d call dressage day at GHF a five-ring circus, but I don’t think circus is really the right word. While yes, with five rings running at once there was a LOT going on, but the GHF organizers and coordinators have created a well-oiled machine and it was easy for a warmup steward newbie such as myself to step in and successfully contribute.

Oh, and bonus: my day of volunteering earned some points for my Area 1 Virtual Team Challenge team and I got to meet one of my teammates!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Groton House Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Surefire H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Essex H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Stable View Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Inavale Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Arrowhead H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Honey Run H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Eventer Hillary Moses Recovering From Rotational Fall

Dr. Laura Werner: How to Manage Your Horse Before, During & After Intensive Competition

Charlotte Dujardin to appear in children’s TV show

PODCAST: Which Event Will be Home to the Next U.S. Four-Star?

Eventer who broke both arms to take on 24-hour ride

The Healthy-Backed Horse

Saturday Video:

Sydney Conley Elliott’s mount, Cisko A, with whom she made her four-star debut at Rolex in 2016, has been on the mend from a tendon injury sustained last September. This neat video talks abut how kinesio tape therapy is helping him in his recovery:

What’s Happening This Weekend: Names to Watch Across the Country

Courses are prepped and ready to go for the weekend! Photo via Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trials on Facebook.

This weekend offers some respite from the FEI calendar, but that doesn’t make it any less busy for U.S. eventing. There’s plenty happening at the National levels, and with a number of horse trials around the country offering Intermediate and Intermediate/Preliminary divisions, it’s a fun opportunity to be on the lookout for some up-and-coming riders and horses. Here are a few to watch out for around the country.

Maya Black and Mowgli at Galway Downs. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Inavale Farm HT – Philomath, OR (Area VII) – Intermediate

The only USEA event in the state of Oregon, Inavale Farm celebrates its 20th year this weekend with divisions running from Intro to Intermediate. Having spent the spring running Preliminary, Maya Black’s Mowgli will be stepping up to the Intermediate level for the first time. Mowgli’s biggest test thus far has been the Galway Downs CCI* last fall, where the pair placed second.

Another familiar name in the Intermediate division is John Camlin, resident owner and trainer at Caber Farm in Onalaska, Washington, which is also home to an Area VIII USEA horse trials. Having ridden up to the CCI2* level over 10 years ago, this will be John’s first start at Intermediate again in a number of years. He’ll be riding Armed Services, a horse who stepped up to the Preliminary level in 2015.

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M at Jersey Fresh. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Groton House Farm H.T. – Hamilton, MA (Area I) – Intermediate/Preliminary

This destination event in the heart of Area I is celebrating its 40th anniversary, kicking off with dressage today as they continue the tradition of running a three-day event. This will be something of homecoming for two Area I natives, Jeanie Clarke and Cornelia Dorr, who are both contesting the I/P division along with nine other strong competitors.

Jeanie grew up riding Groton, Massachusetts (about an hour away from Groton House Farm — don’t let the names confuse you!) and moved to Florida permanently in 2012. Jeanie hasn’t competed in Area I since 2013, but she’s making the trek up north with Head for More. Cornelia grew up riding in Hamilton and is bringing her new mount, the legendary Louis M, to Groton House for the first time.

Anna Loschiavo and Prince Renan have returned again this year to defend their title as last year’s I/P winners. Anna is riding two horses in the division this year, the other being Fernhill Swatch, who has had an excellent spring with Anna as well, placing in the top three of their last three events.

Waylon Roberts and Bill Owen at the Pan Am Games. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trials – Barrington, IL (Area IV) –Intermediate/Preliminary

Fox River is hosting the smallest I/P division with four entries this weekend, and among the entrants are Elizabeth Scheltema and Bill Owen. Bill Owen is a former ride of Waylon Roberts, who competed the horse on the Canadian team that won bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games. Now Bill Owen is showing his new rider the ropes, taking her up to Preliminary last spring and now testing the waters of the upper levels this weekend.

Melanie Rousseau and Sullivan should give them a run for their money; this pair finished in the top 10 in the CIC2* at Fair Hill this April.

Alex Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz at NAJYRC in 2016. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. – Lexington, KY (Area VIII) – Intermediate/Preliminary

Thirteen competitors will be leaving the startbox to gallop through the bluegrass and contest this division, of which two riders have previously tackled four-star fences over the same grounds.

Sydney Conley Elliott has spent the past year getting to know Carol Stephens’ QC Diamantaire, and the pair have achieved good results at the Prelim level and at Intermediate, which they stepped up to at Rocking Horse earlier it the year. Consistently scoring in the low 30s at the National level and with very few jump penalties on their record, they’ll be a pair to watch in the future.

The second four-star rider in this division is Allie Knowles, who will be piloting Katherine O’Brien’s Ramsey as she continues to make her comeback from injuries sustained in a fall at Red Hills in March. This pair is the most experienced pair of the bunch, as Allie acquired the ride on Ramsey over the winter from Emily Hamel, who competed the horse to the CCI3* level.

Also in the mix are Alexandra Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz, who won this division last year, placed fourth overall in the 2016 NAJYRC CH-J*, and also already have two Intermediate wins this year.

Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready at Rolex Kentucky. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Surefire H.T. – Purcellville, VA (Area II) – Intermediate

The Intermediate division at Surefire Horse Trials is easily the most competitive this weekend with 30 entrants, many of whom are professional riders. While there are too many to note, a few stick out. Phillip Dutton has two rides in this division, Fernhill Singapore and I’m Sew Ready, who is returning to competition after a 10th-place finish at Kentucky CCI4* earlier this year.

Boyd Martin has three rides in the division: Barry, Contessa and Polaris. This will be Polaris’ first competitive run with Boyd in the irons, having been competed to the CCI3* level by Sara Moore.

Morgan Rowsell leads guests on a walk of brand new course at Moorland Farm. Photo via Essex Horse Trials on Facebook.

Also of note this weekend is the return of the Essex Horse Trials, which is being revived after a nearly 20-year hiatus. The new event will take place at Moorland Farms in Far Hills, New Jersey, and a number of well-known riders will be competing. Stay tuned for more coverage from Essex.

No matter where you are in the country, there are plenty of reasons to go eventing this weekend! Check today’s News & Notes post for all the links to entries, ride times and results at every USEA horse trials running throughout the country.

#FantasyFarmThursday: Boyd Martin’s Former Aiken Training Base on the Market

Photo courtesy of bridlecreekfarm.com

You may be familiar with our sister site Horse Nation’s #FantasyFarmThursday, and this week we’re bringing you a very special EN Fantasy Farm right here in the form of Bridle Creek Farm in Aiken, SC.

Bridle Creek Farm was established in 2008 and was designed with the active equestrian competitor in mind. The 44.7 acre facility boasts a gorgeous nine-stall main barn along with two other shed row barns for a total of 14 stalls on the property in addition to ample turnout. For human living space, the main house is divided into a 2,200 square-foot owner’s apartment and an 800 square-foot guest apartment, which could be used for a resident trainer.

Photo courtesy of bridlecreekfarm.com

What will truly catch an eventer’s eye, however, is the riding space. With both a dedicated jump ring and a dedicated dressage arena (with mirrors!) you’ll never have to worry about making sure your grid doesn’t encroach on someone else’s 20 meter circle again.

The real crown jewel of this property may well be its very own cross country course designed by the one-and-only Eric Bull in collaboration with Boyd Martin. The 10-acre irrigated field offers beautifully constructed fences with questions for all levels of training. And just when you think you’ve seen everything the property has to offer, you’ll find that it backs up to miles of trails for hacking as well as a community gallop lane.

Photo courtesy of bridlecreekfarm.com

Bridle Creek Farm was the winter base for Boyd’s operation for several years and has since been home to other notable riders including Lillian Heard, Caitlin Silliman and Megan Perry. Many more familiar names of the eventing community have trained out of the facility as it has hosted Developing Rider and High Performance training sessions in past years.

Photo courtesy of bridlecreekfarm.com

Is this your dream farm? Click here to learn more.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

A summer evening well spent. Photo via @bri.eventing on Instagram

Well I was probably a little overdue to take a digger, frankly. I don’t actually remember when the last time I fell off was, but I forgot how stiff I’d be the next day. No worries though, I am otherwise no worse for the wear and at least I gave my trainer a good laugh! I gave my pony a little pop with the crop as we were going over a little 2’3″ barrel and I’m not sure if I surprised her or offended her, but she blasted off over that jump and launched me right over her neck. Can’t say the pony doesn’t have some springs!

Luhmühlen Links: WebsiteEntriesScheduleXC Starting OrderLive ScoresFEI TVEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Action:

Feather Creek Farm HT: [Website] [Ride Times & Live Scores]

Golden Spike HT: [Website] [Ride Times & Live Scores]

Come Again Farm Fathers Day HT: [Website] [Ride Times & Live Scores]

Bucks County Park HT: [Website] [Ride Times & Live Scores]

Silverwood Farm Spring HT: [Website] [Ride Times]

Seneca Valley Pony Club Spring HT: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm June HT: [Website] [Ride Times]

Great Vista HT: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

War Horse Event Series June HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Angela Bowles: Let’s All Work As A Team To Make Our Sport Of Eventing Better

Announcing 2017 USEA Young Event Horse Championships Details

William Micklem: Unshrouding Misunderstood Dressage Terms (H&H VIP and worth the subscription!)

Riders react to Mike Etherington-Smith’s first Luhmühlen cross-country course: ‘Not the most testing, but you can still trip up’

An Open Letter to My Horse Dad

Addressing Unwanted Behavior in Performance Mares

Heat Advisory for Horses

Saturday Video:

Holy. Cuteness.

#crosscountrymachines #BarbieandLuciaTakeSpringRun ❤️#eventingnation #horsenation #ponypower

A post shared by Amanda Conti (@mbhorsejumper) on

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Paige Beliveau riding Pippen McGee, winners of the Novice Rider B division at GMHA Spring H.T. last weekend. Photo by Joan Davis/FlatlandsFoto

This is the first time since I’ve been doing Saturday Links posts that I’m competing in one of the events that are listed below! I’m stoked to be getting out to my first recognized event of the season at Valinor Farm down in Plymouth, Mass and I can’t wait to go eventing.

In case you missed it, the big news from yesterday is that the International Olympic Committee confirmed to the FEI that equestrian sports, including eventing, will be remain in the Games for 2024. Both the 2020 and 2024 events will follow the new format which includes teams of three riders and no drop score. Check out the links below for the press release.

Bromont Links: Website, Entries, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Bramham Links: Website, Entries & Live Scores, XC Live StreamEN’s Coverage

U.S. Weekend Action:

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Valinor Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Plantation Field June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

The Middleburg H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

River Glen H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Roebke’s Run CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Queeny Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Camelot Equestrian Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Aspen Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Derbyshire Farms H.T. [Website/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

FEI President Welcomes IOC Confirmation of Equestrian Sport in 2024 Olympics

Would you be up for taking on Bramham’s CCI3* cross-country course? Here’s what’s in store

2017 Belmont Stakes Need-to-Know Guide

How Horse Genetics Relate to Equestrian Disciplines

A Day in the Life: On XC in Kentucky with Four-Star First-Timer Savannah Fulton

Show-Jumping Warm-Up Strategies That Work

Hot on Jumper Nation: The Sad and Bizarre Defense by Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke

Saturday Video:

This is one of the simplest and best braiding tutorials I’ve seen yet. I usually brain with yarn, but I think I’ll give these a whirl later this season:


Saturday Links from Tipperary

Rachel and Twist are accepted! Photo via Rachel Dowess on Instragram: @rdeventing

While some of the best in the world are competing across the pond this weekend — and I’m certainly enjoying following along with those events — I’ve been especially delighting in all the jog photos popping up on social media from the Indiana Eventing Association Training and Novice Three-Day Event.

How fun and awesome is it for the lower-levels to get to enjoy the preparation and prestige of a trot-up? I particularly love this picture of Novice three-day competitors 15-year-old Rachel Dowless and her 14hh Hackney/Shetland, A Little Twist. The pony may be of small stature, but his rider has a huge smile!

If you’re looking to catch some live stream action this morning, you can cheer our North American contingent competing at Tattersalls on from afar. Here are their ride times:

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation: 3:30 p.m./10:30 a.m. EST
Buck Davidson and Carlevo: 3:39 p.m./10:39 a.m. EST
Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee: 4:12 p.m./11 a.m. EST
Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border: 4:24 p.m./11:24 a.m. EST
Katherine Coleman and Back to Business: 4:39 p.m./11:39 a.m. EST
Phillip Dutton and Z: 4:57 p.m. EST/11:57 a.m. EST

Tattersalls Links: WebsiteEntries & Live Scores, XC Order of GoLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Wiesbaden ERM Links: Website, Order of Go, Live Scores, Live Stream

U.S. Weekend Preview:

GMHA June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

GVRDC Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Waredaca H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Poplar Place June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Colorado Horse Park CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Panizzon Sets New Record at Tatts 2017

Vet tech creates high-tech horse scanning table

USEA Classic Series Kicks Off at Indiana Eventing Association Horse Trials

Hunter Princess Completes First Event, Places Only Almost Last

Max Corcoran: Fuel Your Horse for Competition

Saturday Video:

Check out this gorgeous ariel footage of the Tattersalls grounds and cross-country course. Yep, I want to go to there:

Rescue Horse Missy Elliot Works It in New Career as Eventer

Heather Thomas riding Missy Elliot. Photo courtesy of Heather Thomas.

Some horses and riders just seem meant to be. As a case in point, take Heather Thomas, the Executive Director of both the Alachua County Humane Society and Gainesville Pet Rescue, and “Missy Elliot,” a horse who made her way into upper-level event rider Jeanie Clarke‘s barn in an unconventional way.

It all started when Jeanie’s friend Joanna Breeden Carr told her about a nice mare she should look at. But the mare wasn’t at another rider’s barn, nor was she at a breeding farm overseas. She was in the Marion County Sheriff’s Department holding field.

Joanna is an animal control officer in the Ocala, Florida area and the horse had been picked up as a stray, having been abandoned in a vacant lot. The Sheriff’s department was holding her for the prescribed amount of time before she could be auctioned off to the public. Joanna wanted Jeanie to come take a look at the mare prior to the auction because there was “something special about her.”

Skeptical, Jeanie had initially resisted. “I said ‘no way — that’s the last thing I need,’” she recounted, but eventually gave in to her friend’s pleading and went along to go see the horse.

They weren’t allowed to enter the Sheriff Department’s field, so Jeanie had to judge the horse by what she could see: a pretty 17-hand bay in good weight with an athletic type, but a quarter crack that was making her lame. Jeanie wasn’t too concerned with that — her husband Scott is a farrier — and returned from the excursion agreeing with her friend; there was indeed something special about that mare.

Missy Elliot upon arrival at Jeanie’s farm. Photo by courtesy of Katie Ruppel.

A few days later Jeanie, Joanna and fellow eventer Katie Ruppel, who is Jeanie’s good friend and neighbor, showed up at the auction (which was “more like five people standing around in a field buying animals with their spare change,” according to Katie) to bid on the mare. The mare’s pasture mates, a nice-looking black Quarter Horse colt and a Nubian goat, out-sold her at $40 and $65 respectively. Jeanie was the only one to bid on the mare and could have paid $0.25, but felt bad offering mere coins and bid $1 instead.  

The auction took place the day after Super Bowl XLIX when the halftime show featured Katy Perry along with a surprise appearance by rapper Missy Elliot, who was making a come back on the music scene after battling illness for several years. With the memorable performance fresh in her mind, Jeanie christened the mare after the self-assured, dynamic rapper. It would turn out to be a fitting name as fate would have it.

Around that same time, Katie and Jeanie had noticed various upper-level riders were posting announcements on Facebook about the assortment of prestigious and promising rides they had acquired. Making light of their unusual situation, Katie posted her own tongue-in-cheek ‘press release’ for Jeanie complete with masterful usage of song lyrics:  

Courtesy of Katie Ruppel.

Once Jeanie took Missy home to her farm and had her shod, she incorporated the mare into her lesson and working student program. She got back into shape fairly quickly for a horse who hadn’t been ridden much in the recent past and a few months later Jeanie and a working student took the mare to her first schooling show at Longwood Farm.

It was a big venue with lots to look at and no one was sure how the horse with a mysterious background would handle the distracting atmosphere. But Missy Elliott marched through the in-gate as if she owned the place and threw down a lovely round even nailing her lead changes. Just as Missy Elliot the rapper made a comeback on the Super Bowl Halftime stage, Missy Elliot the horse was ready to make a comeback in the show ring.

After that first show outing, it was clear that the mare knew a thing or two. Jeanie guessed that she had shown as a hunter and had perhaps even been exposed to eventing at some point as well, judging by the way the mare tackled a coffin complex without hesitation her first time out cross country schooling.

Missy Elliot was put on the market come winter and despite an interested buyer, she didn’t pass her pre-purchase vet exam and the sale fell through. Though her radiographs were riddled with bone chips and arthritis, the mare remained sound and Jeanie put her back into her lesson program. As fate would have it, it was all for the best because the perfect person for Missy happened to already be in Jeanie’s program.

Heather Thomas rode hunter/jumpers growing up before taking 10 years off from horses to focus on her education and career. By day, Heather is working towards a goal of making Alachua County a no-kill community as she runs two local rescue groups which have recently come together to broaden their reach and provide better opportunities for dogs and cats in need in the Alachua County area. In her free time, her passion is riding and competing and with her career in place, she was ready to jump back into to the equestrian world, this time in a different discipline.

“It was pretty easy to fall in love with the friendly, inviting eventing community in Ocala,” Heather said.

Heather has been riding with Jeanie for a year now, having come to her with a young OTTB that she was having trouble working with due to a non-horse related back injury. “He was an exceptionally talented young horse but I was in over my head and looking for the right horse to keep me comfortable, safe and confident in the saddle,” said Heather. “As an adult re-rider who can be a bit timid, I couldn’t ask for a better coach or mentor than Jeanie to help me along the road to building my confidence and improving my riding.”

Jeanie wisely paired Heather with Missy Elliot, seeing something in both horse and rider that would complement one another and help Heather build confidence. “I think both Heather and Missy are really smart,  business-like, and serious about their jobs. They respect each other,” said Jeanie. “And Missy Elliot is not warm and fuzzy — she’s definitely an independent horse, but she likes having a person who dotes on her.”

“Missy isn’t the easiest horse to ride, but Heather is serious about her riding and about the complexities of it,” said Jeanie. “The horse is well-schooled enough that she’s interesting, but still has a little bit of the school horse mentality enough to reassure Heather and say, ‘Mom, we’ve got this!’”

“Jeanie knew Missy Elliott would be the perfect fit for me and she couldn’t have been more right,” Heather said. “She genuinely loves having a job and has carefully taken care of me as I learn the sport.”

This January, Heather and Missy left the start box together in USEA competition both for the first time. You wouldn’t be able to tell from their score that it was their maiden voyage, finishing in fourth place after adding one rail to their sub-30 dressage score in Beginner Novice. The deal was sealed on their partnership and Jeanie decided to gift the mare to Heather. Heather has now piloted Missy Elliott to two additional fourth place finishes and, most recently, a win in the Beginner Novice at the Rocking Horse Spring H.T.

Heather and Missy after their win. Photo courtesy of Jeanie Clarke.

“Being able to compete with Missy Elliott, a rescued horse, is a perfect combination of my work and my passion, ensuring that our community is working to end needless euthanasia,” said Heather. “Jeanie has a heart of gold for taking a chance and rescuing Missy and she has extended that generosity to me. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.”

“Sometimes it feels like nice people work and work and still don’t get what they want or deserve,” said Jeanie, “but this is working out nicely.”

Saturday Links from Tipperary

The Maryland Eventing Team was treated to a course walk at the Virginia Horse Trials by none other than Lauren Kieffer as they tackle the Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. Photo Via Maryland Eventing Team at UMD on Facebook.

There’s so much eventing madness going on this weekend, it’s truly insane! While I won’t be at a USEA event this weekend, I’ll be trucking my pony to the annual Groton House Farm 2-phase. I always look forward to this competition; not only is it a well-run show on beautiful grounds, but it’s a great way to test the skills I’ve been working on all winter and see how they fare in the ring.

International Events Going On:

[Saumur Live Scoring]

[Houghton Hall Live Scoring]

U.S. Weekend Action:

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Virginia CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Flora Lea Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website]  [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Willow Draw Charity H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

The Spring Event at Woodside H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Equestrians Institute H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

May-Daze at the Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Coconino Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Trophy Tales: A History of U.S. Eventing Awards – Mare of the Year

COTH Horse Show Dad: Why They Ride

Use of resistance bands in horse training improve dynamic stability at trot 

Update regarding Emily Gilruth following her fall at Badminton Horse Trials

BLM Budget Cuts Put Wild Horses at Risk, Advocates Say

Saturday Video:

This isn’t your average horse trials! Here’s just a taste of the school spirit that’s encompassing the Virginia Horse Trails this weekend during the Intercollegiate Eventing Championships:

Grindstone Mountain Farm Keeps Former King Oak Farm H.T. Tradition Alive

Stephanie Hancock riding Henry, winners of the Open Training A division. Photo by Cindy Arendt.

Welcome to the eventing calendar, Grindstone Mountain Farm! The Southampton, Mass., property itself is a familiar one as a longtime host of horse trials, but its first running of a USEA event under new ownership as Grindstone took place May 13-14.

Formerly King Oak Farm, the property changed hands in August of last year when longtime owners Fran and Tom Cross made a permanent move to Ocala, Fla. The sale came as a surprise to many, as Fran, Tom and King Oak have been a fixture of Area I eventing for decades.

While a prolonged sale process forced the cancellation of last year’s fall event, area eventers were delighted to hear that new owners Adria Pandolfini and Erik Loiko planned to host the spring horse trials as scheduled and keep the horse trials running into the future.

Coming from the hunter/jumper world, the Adria and Erik were in for a crash course in event organizing over the fall and winter. One of the first people who reached out to them after the sale of the farm was Sharyn Antico, event secretary and organizer for Millbrook Horse Trials, whom the Pandolfini and Loiko family had met years ago while managing a jumper show. Sharyn acted as co-organizer for Grindstone Mountain alongside Adria and Erik this spring. 

Janet Kenton-Walker riding Carmella. Photo by Cindy Arendt.

“Sharyn did an amazing job holding our hand while also embracing some of the changes we wanted to make,” Adria says.

Adria and Erik were also glad to have the help of course designer Tremaine Cooper and course builder Chris Melanisi. “Chris knows our property better than anyone and was able to use Tremaine’s layout to build what some said were some of the best courses on this property,” Adria says.

“We had a great support system in Area 1, including our Westfield State University Equestrian Team members and our families. Many drove hours to volunteer and show support,” Adria says. “We tried to set ourselves up with a team that knew the property well and knew the area’s eventing community.”

The family is excited for the future of their new farm and plan to make some changes to the cross country and stadium courses as well as to the property in general. “All of which will take time,” Adria says. “So the fall event will not be much different. Much will depend on the weather and how fast we can work, but we certainly have plans.”

Diane Thompson riding Boston Jack. Photo by Cindy Arendt.

Grindstone Mountain Farm H.T. was one of, if not the first, Area 1 event to utilize the new resource EventingVolunteers.com which allows organizers to easily manage and convey which volunteer positions need coverage for the weekend.

“It was definitely user friendly for volunteers and coordinators,” Adria says. “Being green at eventing, it certainly made our lives much easier as it organized each day for us and helped us see what we needed and when.”

Erin Renfroe riding Porter Creek. Photo by Cindy Arendt.

One-hundred fifty competitors from Beginner Novice to Prelim left the start box at the newly christened event over its inaugural weekend and despite a less than ideal weather forecast the event went smoothly. Adria and Erik are happy with how their very first horse trials ran, and Area 1 eventers are equally grateful to continue to gallop across the fields of a most beloved farm.

Special thanks to Cindy Arendt, who was on hand to catch the Training A division action, for sharing her photos!

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Mother, daughter, and horses take a water beak during XC schooling. Photo via Anna Freskgard on Instagram (@afreskgard)

Remember the intrepid little Swedish eventers Edwina and Tusseman? Well, Edwina has a new ride on Fabian, an 18-year-old Shetland Pony being leased to her. The adorable little chestnut has competed up to P70 (Pony, 70 cm jump height) in recognized competition and will be teaching Edwina the ropes of eventing. You might be wondering what happened to Tusseman… Don’t worry – one of Edwina’s neighborhood friends is riding him and the two are taking lessons together. We can’t wait to follow along with their adventures!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Hitching Post Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Kent School Spring H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Fair Hill May H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Otter Creek Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

CCC Spring Gulch H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Saturday Links:

Jennifer McFall: Smashing the Self-Doubt

Eventing: More than a Sport

2017 Preakness Stakes: Field Preview & Poll

Prizes and Free Entries to Claim at the USEA Intercollegiate Championships Next Week

Max Corcoran: How to Ice Your Horse After Cross Country

From Sterilization to Stitches: Handling Horse Wounds

10 Tips for Better Dressage Trot Lengthenings

ICYMI: Finding Volunteers: The Most Formidable Obstacle on Course

Saturday Video:

Relive some of the action from Jersey Fresh International (including cross country in the POURING rain) in this great recap video:

Saturday Links from Tipperary

My girls! Photo by Abby Powell.

Once a year I get to have all my animals in the same place and it’s pretty cool to have my whole herd together, if a bit of a circus. I’ve got my event pony, a miniature horse, a goat, and a dog. The dog is with me pretty constantly (except for at work) and my event pony is boarded. The mini horse and goat live at my parent’s house in the neighboring town, but I load ’em up in the trailer once every spring for an annual trek over to the boarding barn so that I can avoid paying an extra farm call for their shots and the mini’s teeth floating. I’m just a regular dog, pony, and goat show.

International Weekend Action:

The Event Rider Masters 2017 [Event Rider Masters Live Stream] [Ride Times & Live Scoring]

U.S. Weekend Action:

Jersey Fresh International Three-day Event [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Spokane Sport Horse Farm 2nd Annual Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Winona Horse Trials  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Plantation Field May Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Woodland Stallion Station H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

WindRidge Farm Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Grindstone Mountain Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Casting Stones: We Are Our Own Worst Critics

Here’s to the Barn Moms

Event Rider Masters kicks off at the 2017 series Chatsworth International Horse Trials

It Takes a Team to be on Top of Dressage at Jersey Fresh International

British Eventing introduces Regional Volunteer of the Year Awards

Eventer forced to abandon round after Freejump stirrup breaks

Healthful Horse Barns

Saturday Video:

Thanks to EN’s good David “The Horsepesterer” Frechette for this video of CIC3* leaders Marilyn Little & RF Scandalous’ dressage test:

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Photo via Will Faudree Eventing on Facebook.

The happiest thing in my Facebook News Feed at the moment might be all the adorable baby pictures! Not human babies – baby horses, of course. They’re way cuter if you ask me. Big congratulations are in order for Will Faudree, Jennifer Mosing, and family, who welcomed a filly out of Will’s former competition partner, Andromaque (“Missie”) over the weekend!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Jersey Fresh International Three-day Event [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]
Spokane Sport Horse Farm 2nd Annual Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]
Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]
Galway Downs Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]
Winona Horse Trials  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]
Plantation Field May Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]
Woodland Stallion Station H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]
WindRidge Farm Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]
Grindstone Mountain Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Shanghai Joe remains under veterinary care and is resting comfortably as his team awaits for swelling to subside before assessing the extent of the horse’s injuries. “Nugget” galloped back to stabling after Shane Rose fell during Badminton cross country and injured a forelimb when he slipped on a gravel path. EN sends best wishes for a speedy recovery. [Shane Rose Eventing on Facebook]

Talent and heart aren’t always readily apparent. When Matt Brown purchased the austere gelding Fernhill Flaxen – now known as Super Socks BCF – he had no idea he would be his horse of a lifetime. [What’s in a Name?]

Haven’t we all gotten hooked on this sport because we love jumping? I’d venture to say it’s likely. But we certainly all haven’t found our way from riding reining horses to training with Bunnie Sexton. [From Sliding Stops to the Start Box, South Dakota Native Takes Up the Reins on A New Discipline]

SmartPak Product of the Day: My very favorite tool in my grooming tote right now are my HandsOn Gloves for Grooming. I particularly love them because they allow me to have so much more dexterity than a regular rubber curry; I can use the tiny nubs on the fingers to gently curry out the nooks and crannies of my pony’s lower legs and use the larger dimples on the palm to massage into her haunches. And since there’s one for each hand they make currytime twice as efficient! [Smartpak]

Friends of UNH XC Looks for Support as Area I Season Kicks Off

UNH in years past. Photo via Friends of UNH XC on Facebook.

While much of the eventing community cast their gaze towards Lexington, Kentucky, for Rolex, competitors in the Northeast flocked to Durham, New Hampshire, for the first sanctioned Area I event of the year. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Horse Trials marks the official beginning of the season and after long New England winters, it’s always a much anticipated event.

In recent years, however, the UNH cross country course, and by extension the horse trials, have been in danger due to budgetary pressure from the University. Additionally, the cross country course has weathered over the years and is in need of a major overhaul. With no money received from the University for upkeep of the course, it relies solely on schooling fees and facility rentals to finance its repairs and renovation.

Event secretary Liz Oertel Johnson and Chair of the Horse Trials Committee Christina Keim enjoy the course. Photo via Friends of UNH XC on Facebook.

In order to preserve one the longest running remaining Area I events, the Friends of UNH XC was founded in early 2016 to help raise money to put towards an overhaul of the cross country course. When last we checked in with the Friends after the fall horse trials last year, they had hosted a successful silent auction over the competition weekend as well as a few fundraising events such as clinics and derby crosses put on by generous individuals and organizations over the summer. At last week’s event there was another silent auction running throughout the event in addition to a raffle for cross country schooling season passes.

The Friends are now one-fifth of their way towards their goal of raising $50,000 towards renovating the course. “We have a long way to go, but if everyone gave something, we would be there,” said Rachel Greene-Lowell, one of the Friends co-chairs.

Photo by Abby Powell

If you want to help preserve the UNH course for generations to come you can make a donation (write ‘Equine Cross Country Fund’ on the designation line) and stay tuned for announcements of upcoming fundraising events.   There is also still time for local stables organize their own clinic or other event to benefit the cause. In particular, the Friends are also looking for businesses and farms to sponsor a jump; with a $1,500 donation a fence on course will have a sign with the business’ or farm’s name on it, plus they will be included in the program and announced over the loudspeaker at the event. The push to secure funding to upgrade and update the course is a push to secure the future of this event in Area I and to preserve the land for the enjoyment of generations of equestrians to come.

As the season up North is just kicking off, now is the time to get involved. Denny Emerson writes, “I hope we can understand that when we talk about the ‘they,’ as in ‘They need to improve Area I events,’ the ‘they’ is really ‘us.’ Help out. Give money. Give support. The choice between having or losing these top events like UNH is ours to make.”

Thanks to Rich Sorensen we can all enjoy a taste of the action at the water complex from the weekend of competition: